Dear Editor,
It dismays me to write this letter as I had hoped that we had put the era of institutional racism behind us. But I am deeply perturbed by it and I have decided that it has to be talked about.
Prior to the coalition being elected I was a vociferous opponent of the autocratic PPP regime. I recognized that the PPP echelon made filling their pockets their primary goal and a change from them was necessary. I wanted to believe that the AFC and WPA elements of the coalition were going to provide the necessary check to rein in the PNC’ites thus providing a government for all the people of Guyana.
Thus far my hopes have been dashed. The PNC seems to be dealing all the cards in the government. The AFC and WPA segments seem content to play a subservient role. Maybe power has gone to their collective heads and they do not see or do want to see that the government is morphing into one akin to the Burnham led PNC government. After all, senior members of that government play prominent roles in this government.
I lived under the Burnham regime and am going to draw one parallel in hiring practices between that regime and this one. That government promoted junior INEXPERIENCED and UNQUALIFIED individuals to senior positions everywhere. To this day my brother-in-law holds deep rooted anger towards this practice when he worked at Albion sugar estate. He and I would have arguments when he defended the excesses of the recent PPP regime. The results of this hiring practice were decadence and mass migration of the brains of this country.
The current regime is doing the same thing. Someone that I know very well had a senior position for years in the Finance Ministry. Two inexperienced Afro Guyanese were hired at salaries greater than hers to eventually fill her position. To top it all she was told to train them. In the Forestry Ministry, a very junior Afro Guyanese was promoted to a senior position that he was not up to. Let me be clear, I hold no ill-feelings towards the hired individuals but to the authorities that hired them. This practice seems to be systemic and this government has been in power for only one year.
It is not my intent to stir up racial sentiments and I debated with myself whether I should write this letter or not. But I decided that the hiring practices themselves promote racial discord and someone has to speak up about it.
We must hold the politicians accountable for their actions. If this continues I see us going down the same path of the Burnham regime and, having lived through that period of our history, I do not want to see a recurrence of that era.
Ali Hussain